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Describe the qualification and selection of magistrates

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Introduction

Describe the qualification and selection of Magistrates (10 Marks) A Magistrate is a lay judge, with no legal qualifications, that sits in the Magistrates Court. They are part-time judges and work unpaid. To become a Magistrate the potential candidates must satisfy three requirements. The first requirement is that they must have the right personal qualities and be able to commit their time to being a Magistrate. There are six personal qualities that a Magistrate should possess. The first is that they should be of good character; this means that they should have good morals and principles, good personal integrity and be respectful. The second is that they should have good understanding and communication; this means that they should have good understanding of the law and the case as well as being able to communicate well within Court. ...read more.

Middle

The fifth is that they must be mature and of sound temperament, this means that they must be fair, human and courteous as well as being professional in Court. The sixth is that they must show commitment and reliability, this means that they must be committed to being a Magistrate for 26 half days a year. The second requirement is that they must take an oath of allegiance. You don't have to be of British Nationality but you cannot be seeking asylum is you desire to be appointed as a Magistrate. Some professions are ineligible to become Magistrates as it is seen as a conflict of interest. Ineligible professions are police, armed forces, MP's, members of the House of Lords or if any of those is the profession of your spouse/family member. ...read more.

Conclusion

There are no formal age requirements for candidates, however, they must be at least 18 and no older than 65. The selection process of Magistrates begins with the local Magistrates Court needing new Magistrates. Then the Advisory Committee will place an advert for new Magistrates in the local area. Those interested in becoming a Magistrate will download an application form from the Ministry of Justice website; they will also download the DVD. Applicants will complete the form to reflect their eligibility. The form will then be submitted and checked for eligibility. The first interview is just a general interview with the Advisory Committee during which eligibility will be checked again. The second interview will include practical examples and background checks. The Advisory Committee will make a recommendation to the Lord Chancellor, who will refer to the Secretary of State and then appoint the new Magistrate. ...read more.

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